Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 19 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This essay explores American melodrama with a political twist. It suggests that melodrama is only a literary or dramatic genre but a cultural style that suffused antebellum American life and discusses the limits of reading politics in antebellum melodrama. It also argues against Alexis de Tocqueville’s observations and commentaries about American drama and suggests that he erred in some of his judgments about antebellum theatre and melodrama and sometimes failed to discern trends that would define the American stage. This essay also argues that Edwin Forrest’s prize plays The Gladiator and Metamora, or, The Last of the Wampanoags demonstrate the complexities of appealing to antebellum patriotism.

Keywords: American melodrama, antebellum America, cultural style, Alexis de Tocqueville, politics, Edwin Forrest, The Gladiator, Metamora, or, The Last of the Wampanoags

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.